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FIJI: Families of Private Security Guards to Receive $100,000

Families of the two security officers from Fiji killed in a helicopter crash in northern Baghdad last week will each receive insurance payouts of around $100,000 after the men's funerals this week.

by Reueli KikauFiji Times
April 26th, 2005

FAMILIES of the two security officers killed in a helicopter crash in northern Baghdad last week will each receive insurance payouts of around $100,000 after the men's funerals this week.

Former Fiji Military Forces and Sawakasa villager Timoci Lalaqila and former police officer Waisale Atalifo had signed a five-year contract with American company Sky-link earlier this year.

They died with six American private security contractors and three Bulgarians on their way to the Tagi region, north of Baghdad.

Global Risks Strategies director Sakiusa Raivoce said the remains of the two local officers had been found by Skylink officers and taken to Iraq hospital.

"The bodies of Lalaqila and Atalifo have been found and are still intact but their faces are a bit affected by the crash but they have been transferred to the hospital and their bodies embalmed," he said.

He said a $10,000 budget was sent for the cost of transporting the bodies from Nadi Airport to Suva Private Hospital and other travel arrangements for the men's burial.

He said the bodies would be escorted by Skylink local officers' leader Misaele Baleisuva who would also liaise with the families over the insurance details.

It is believed that Global Risks' officers receive $240,000 death insurance and so far seven officers have died in Iraq since 2003.

Mr Raivoce said the bodies are expected to be here before Friday and Mr Lalaqila would be buried at Sawakasa Village while Mr Atalifo's body would be flown by helicopter to Savusavu.

"All these expenses would be paid by the company and Mr Atalifo's parents who live near the airport at Nukubalavu want him to be buried at their estate," he said.

He said arrangements are still being made for the helicopter services and buses that would transport mourners from Lakeba Street to Sawakasa Village for Mr Lalaqila's burial.

He said on Saturday a memorial service for the officers and people killed in the crash was conducted at the Baghdad Inter-national Airport.

Mr Raivoce said the service included local security officers working for Public Warehouse Company, Global Risks, and Triple Canopy. Armourguard, Skylink, local British Army officers and high ranking officers from the American and British armies.

"It was a moving ceremony and the eulogy was made by Kelevi Tokalau and the local boys took turns singing Fijian hymns in their respective groups that moved the 350 crowd at the service and it showed how united they were even though they were far away from home."

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